Air Force Graduation

Beginning tomorrow Thursday, X is going to have an adventure.

My youngest son, just out of high school, is graduating from boot camp at Lackland AFB, San Antonio.

The next four days should prove to be very interesting.

First, X is up at 5:00am tomorrow and Friday to try to get to Lackland AFB by opening ceremony. Various events occur Thursday and Friday prior to the new airmen getting a day pass outside the base.

All visitors must complete background checks before passes are issued. My son got the information for said checks from me of my two brothers, both of which will be attending.

We were originally told that the graduation was Friday, and my son requested his two uncles be present. One of my brothers lives in Arkansas, about a 13 hour drive to my ranch, and the other about 3 hours from the ranch.

The base is about 60 miles from the ranch.

His mom and stepdad, brother, gramma, aunt Julie and cuzin’ Missy will be attending as well.

I figured it would be a nice gesture if I invited everyone to the ranch on Saturday for a bbq and just kick back most of the day.

Airman Tim has to be  back at squadron HQ by 8:00 pm every night; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

My sister in law (who doesn’t even speak to me any more) agreed to come down Friday, and spend Saturday here to see my boys over the weekend.

Well, his mom found some obscure line in the “Rules of Day Passes” and the airmen are not allowed to leave the greater San Antonio Metro Area.

That rules out the party as we are out of the “metro area” requirement.

X leaves here at 5:30 am to hopefully get to the base by seven where there is a ‘visitor debriefing’ and other activities until around 10:30 at which time the airmen are allowed to leave.

Friday is same thing, just different activities; parade, airmen run, and other traditions, then the airmen are released for the day.

Saturday and Sunday the airmen are released at 9:00 am for the day.

It looks like his mom has got the entire weekend booked. I cannot for the life of me imagine what the hell they will do for four days in San Antonio…

River Walk? that’s for old ladies and drunks

Fiesta Texas? It’s August in Texas. Wanna spend all day in the hot sun waiting in line for a ride? Not me.

Alamo? been there seen that twice

Sea World? Gee, I dunno…$35 a person to get in and stand in the hot sun…maybe get splashed…maybe not…

So my brothers will both be here Friday and we will attend the graduation ceremony, and then we will return here to the ranch and proceed to imbibe lots of bourbon.

Thursday, I will be attending myself.

Originally, we were told it was only Friday; only to find out much later it was spread out over four days.

My brother days “pick ’em up and bring ’em to the ranch. What? Does he have a GPS chip embedded in him?”

Tempting.

Update Thursday 5:18 pm

X has returned from today’s chicanery.

I shoulda just gotten up at 4:20 because I did not go back to sleep after being waked up to pee. I  thought I set the alarm (alarm clocks are seldom used here any  more) for 5:00, but instead it was 5:15.

I do not know what time last night I decided not to shower, and I didn’t need the extra time.

So I lie there awake for nearly an hour waiting for the alarm.

At 5:15, I flew out of bed and got a half shower; quick one and shave (just the  neck).

I gathered my ice chest and 4 waters. No time to make a brisket sammich. Load the ice chest in the truck.

Bring out the GPS and attach it. Start the truck and GPS, and grab my blood pressure meds for the day.

Plumb forgot the binoculars…damn!

Hopped into the truck, and watched the time on the GPS keep moving forward and I wasn’t.

Gonna be late. Gonna hit shitload of heavy SA traffic.

I backed out of the driveway and the GPS fell off the suction cup I stuck on the windshield.

OK I did not make any allowance for GPS shenanigans. Stick it back on, and it promptly fell back into the abyss of the passenger side.

I’m not driving down the road. Dark, deer thirty, and I am swerving trying to find the sombitch on the floor.

I stop, turn on the cab light, and find it.

this time, I carefully place the suction cup on said windshield, pull lever and suck it on.

OK, off again. Can’t really drive 70 because of the ding dang cutesy deer. Screw it. 70 it is.

I get out of town in the country where it is really pitch black except for a passing semi…

boom, the dang GPS fell off again.

Lemmee tell you this; don’t be going 70 miles an hour and you be reaching into the passenger floorboard. Your vehicle is very sensitive at that speed whilst your are not watching the road…

Fuck the GPS. I’ll keep the damn thing in my lap.

And I did the rest of the way. By the time I exited, I knew exactly where I needed to be…at the FRONT of the two mile line of cars waiting to get on the base, except I was at the rear.

Once on the base, I found a parking place only 7 clicks from the activity area for the day. Good thing I brought my Panama Jack hat and old-man-been-to-the-eye-doctor-shades.

The airmen did their thing with their run what the AF calls a ‘retreat pad’. It’s like a three sided stadium open on one end, and from whence the airmen appear with their group (called a flight).

I didn’t see my boy then but got him on video by accident. He pointed himself out later. Yes, we did hook up but only just as I was leaving the base.

More later…

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